You are currently viewing Coron vs El Nido – Differences, Attractions, and Tours

If you’re contemplating traveling to Palawan but can’t decide if you want to go to Coron or El Nido, we got you covered. In this article, we discuss the things to do in El Nido and Coron and the popular tourist spots there. 

Aside from the tourist spots, we also tackle other factors that might affect your decision – like price points and transportation when you get there. 

Let’s get to it!

The Palawan Guide
Kayangan Lake

Things To Do in El Nido / El Nido Tours

For El Nido and Coron, the key attractions are the islands and beaches. They are usually grouped into tour packages that you can check out. 

These tours are regulated by the government and standardized so you don’t have to worry about the quality and consistency of the tours. We also like that there’s a set ceiling price for these tours. 

El Nido Tour A

Private TourP1,760 – P4,730 per person (inclusive of entrance fees, lunch, mask and snorkel, boats)
Group TourP1,165 per person (inclusive of entrance fees, boats, lunch)
Book OnlineDiscounted El Nido Tour A

This tour package takes you to one of El Nido’s crown jewels, its beautiful lagoons. Imagine this: clear waters and awesome rock formations surround you as you swim. The Secret Lagoon provides a secluded pool of water for you to enjoy in which you can float around. 

You’ll also experience the white sands of Shimizu Island and 7 Commando Beach.

El Nido Big Lagoon

El Nido Tour B

Private TourP1,980 – P5,060 per person (inclusive of entrance fees, lunch, mask and snorkel, boats)
Group TourP1,100 per person (inclusive of entrance fees, boats, lunch)
BOOK El Nido Tour B

This tour allows you to enjoy some of the best beaches of El Nido. You’ll visit Snake Island with its sandbar snaking through the sea. 

Then you’re off to Pinagbuyatan Island which has limestone formations. You’ll also get to experience the beautiful Papaya Beach and even snorkel here if you want to! 

Lastly, you’ll explore the natural caverns and see rock formations at Cudugnon Cave. 

Snake Island

El Nido Tour C

Private TourP1,980 – P5,060 per person (inclusive of entrance fees, lunch, mask and snorkel, boats)
Group TourP1,250 per person (inclusive of entrance fees, boats, lunch)
BOOK El Nido Tour C

You’ll go to Helicopter Island, which is famous for its rock formations that are shaped like a helicopter at a distance. You’ll also visit Matinloc Shrine, a deserted shrine of the Virgin Mary built in 1982, hidden between the beautiful beaches and cliffs. 

Helicopter Island

El Nido Tour E

Tricycle tourP1,500 (up to 4 people)
Van rentalP3,000 (up to 12 people)
Motorcycle rentalP500 per day

If you want to experience some inland attractions, we recommend renting out the different modes of transport here in El Nido. We recommend going to Nacpan and Calitang Twin Beach, Las Cabanas, and Nagkalit-kalit Falls.

Nacpan Beach

Things to Do in Coron / Coron Tours

Below are some examples of tours you can do in Coron, along with the attractions you’ll see here. 

Coron Town Tour

DIY TourP500+ (depending on the stops)
Group TourP840 – P3,250 per person (inclusive of entrance fees, round trip to hotel, transportation around town)
Book OnlineBOOK Coron Town Tour

The itinerary includes climbing Mt. Tapyas and enjoying the scenic view of the town. We promise that the view is worth a spot on your Instagram feed. 

You can also take a dip in the hot springs of Maquinit, which is beyond relaxing.  

You’ll get a fantastic opportunity to meet many locals in the public market and town plaza and get a good look at the riverside in Lualhati Park, St. Augustine Church. 

A fun bonus is that you might also see how locals harvest cashews. 

Mt. Tapyas

Coron Calauit and Beach Tour

DIY TourP250 per person (Filipino entrance fee to Calauit Safari)P400 per person (Regular entrance fee to Calauit Safari)
P200 per person (Black Island entrance fee)
Boat rental:P9,300 (2 – 4)P10,400 (5 – 8)P17,000 (9 – 15)
P500 (Tour guide)
Assuming a group of 8 people: P2,012.5 per person
Group TourP2,300 per person (inclusive of entrance fees, snacks, lunch, boats, round trip to hotel)
BOOK Calauit and Beach Tour

Explore and see the bustling wildlife in Calauit Game Refuge and Wildlife Sanctuary. After that, you’ll enjoy North Cay or Rio Aplaya Beach and dip in Black Island’s crystal blue water.

Calauit Safari in Coron

Coron Tour A

DIY TourP300 per person (entrance fee to Kayangan Lake)
P100 per person (entrance fee to Lusong Coral Garden)
P150 per person (entrance fee to Atwayan Beach)
P100 per person (entrance fee to Siete Pecados)
Boat rental:P2,700 (2 – 4)P3,250 (5 – 8)P3,800 (9 – 15)
P500 (Tour guide)
Assuming a group of 8 people: P1,118.75 per person
Group TourP2,225 – P5,830 per person (inclusive of entrance fees, lunch, snorkel, boats, round trip to hotel)
BOOK Coron Tour A

Want to enjoy a white sand beach? Say no more, CYC Beach is one of the best beaches in Coron. 

You can also snorkel at the Coral Gardens and enjoy a wonderful lunch at Atwayan Beach. 

Then you can gaze at the beautiful waters at Siete Pecados and see the cleanest lake in the Philippines, Kayangan Lake.

Kayangan Lake

Coron Tour B

DIY TourP250 per person (entrance fee to Barracuda Lake)
P100 per person (entrance fee to Skeleton Wreck)
P150 per person (entrance fee to Banul Beach)
P200 per person (entrance to Twin Lagoon)
Boat rental:P2,700 (2 – 4)P3,250 (5 – 8)P3,800 (9 – 15)
P500 (Tour guide)
Assuming a group of 8 people: P1,168.75 per person
Group TourP1,835 – P5,890 per person (inclusive of entrance fees, lunch, boats, round trip to hotel)
BOOK Coron Tour B

You’ll be starting the tour at Barracuda Lake which offers beautiful crystal clear waters, then you’ll go to Skeleton Wreck and see the sunken warship or even touch it if the tide allows – yes, a warship! Pretty cool, right? 

You’ll then have lunch at the beautiful white sands of Banul Beach and then on to Twin Lagoon for the amazing limestone cliffs.  Lastly, you’ll experience marine life up close in Reef Garden.

Twin Lagoon

Transportation in Palawan

As you can see, Coron and El Nido are similar in that their main attractions are beaches and water activities. So they’re similar in terms of transportation. Here’s a brief guide: 

  • If you just want to get around town for both places, there are a lot of tricycles that can take you anywhere you want for cheap. 
  • If you want to explore the islands, you’ll have to join a group tour or book your own private boat. Both have their pros and cons, so it’s really up to your budget and your planned itinerary.

Getting your own boat vs booking a group tour 

If you’re joining the group tours, you’ll be sharing the whole trip with other visitors, so it’s best if you’re travelling solo or with a small group. This will lessen the hassle of planning logistics and fees. The operators will handle everything for you, so no sweat on your end at all. 

If you’re traveling in a big group, we recommend renting a boat.  The rates depend on the size of the boat, the size of your group, and where you’re going.

Here’s a ballpark price for a boat in Palawan. It costs around P2,700 for a group of 2 to 4 people, P3,250 for a group of 5 to 8 people, and P3,800 for a group of 9 to 15 people. 

Renting your own boat allows you to have full control over the itinerary. You can stay in a certain spot for as long as you like and even choose to skip certain places. 

Final Thoughts 

As you can see, Coron and El Nido are similar for their tropical scenery, beautiful islands, and wonderful beaches. They’re both awesome places, so we highly recommend you go to both. If you decided to visit both islands, you can check the updated El Nido to Coron ferry schedule for your reference.

Powered by 12Go system

However, we understand that this might not always be possible for some and might need to pick just one. So here’s a brief comparison: 

A key difference is that El Nido is more popular, so it might be a little more developed than Coron. Some would say that island hopping here is its main advantage. 

However, if you want to go somewhere quieter with fewer people, then Coron might be the place for you. If you’re a diver or enjoy snorkeling, Coron arguably might be a better choice, based on experience. 

So there you have it, a brief rundown of the best tourist spots in Coron and El Nido, the price points for tours, as well as key differences between the two. 

At the end of the day, both islands are majestic and deserve a visit. It will be up to you to decide which speaks to you more and matches your preferences and needs. 

We hope this guide helped you! Happy traveling! 

Leave a Reply